Imagine being arrested and charged with a crime. After serving a jail sentence, you are released and must navigate legal terminology and concepts related to your conviction. Now envision that you struggle to read beyond a fourth-grade level.
This scenario is the reality of many Indiana residents who lack the necessary legal literacy to begin rebuilding their lives. Indy Reads, a nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis, provides basic literacy tutoring to adults with low literacy and plans to change that reality for struggling adult readers who encounter legal issues.
Earlier this month, the Indianapolis Bar Foundation named Indy Reads the recipient of its 2016 Impact Fund Grant. The $35,000 award will allow the program to deliver 10 to 20 legal literacy workshops to student inmates and the Indy Reads community. The project will build on the existing Indy Reads criminal justice literacy curriculum. Student inmates will receive legal education to help them to better understand and make informed decisions while navigating through the justice system.
The improved literacy skills that learners receive through this initiative will go a long way in reducing recidivism within the Indiana community. Thanks to Indy Reads, residents with convictions on their record will soon be able to imagine a better life for themselves and have the supportive network they need to improve their options through education.
Indy Reads serves adults 18 years of age and older in Central Indiana who struggle with reading and writing, or who are learning English as a new language. Indy Reads has been a ProLiteracy Member since 2007. Visit the Indy Reads website to learn more about the work the program is doing.